There’s not much you can’t skewer and grill or griddle. The result should be delicious and unless you’ve included some fatty objects it will be good for you, too.
Shish Kebab is Turkish in origin and indicates a skewer on to which pieces of meat and vegetables are put and grilled over hot coals. It is one of the simplest dishes to do in your kitchen – without the coals! If you are a Barbecue nut you will light up your Barbie in any weather and cook your kebabs. If, like me, you’re a cissy and don’t like cooking outside in the winter, then an indoors grill is fine, but the best way is using a toasted sandwich or Panini maker.
As my pictures show, you can make your kebabs any size you like, from lovely big marinaded chicken joints like they do in Lebanon, (above left)to bite-size pieces (say about 3 cms in width) of this and that as in the right-hand photo. Here are three shish Kebabs, two meaty and one vegetarian. Each meaty skewer contains rotated pieces of chicken, mushroom, sweet pepper, onion, ham and tomato. The vegetarian version, at the front of the picture, substitutes Halloumi cheese for the chicken and ham. They took less than three minutes to cook and were succulently super.
Before putting the kebabs into my grill I drizzled over some barbecue sauce (made not far away in Tiptree by Wilkin & Son and it is excellent). However, you can make your own if you wish; then, you can put in all the ingredients you like. Amongst the ones I use are: tomato purée, some vinegar and lemon, olive oil, garlic powder, a little chili pepper, a wee bit of sugar, soy sauce, sweet pepper sauce, wine, sherry, Worcestershire Sauce, ketchup and salt and pepper.
All you do is mix up your preferred barbecue sauce and schlap it over your meat, fish or vegetables, a little while before cooking. Or, you can steep your meat or fish longer to get greater depth of flavour.
Marinading is the immersion of meat, fish or vegetables in a liquid mixture with a view to flavouring and/or tenderising them. The immersion may take minutes, hours, overnight or days. Yogurt is sometimes used, but the main ingredients are oil and an acid (vinegar, wine or lemon) to break down fibres and tenderise.
The basic marinade, to use with about one kilo of meat, fish or vegetables, comprises: 15 cl olive oil, 3 tbsp vinegar and/or lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Thereafter, your imagination can run riot. For red wine marinade, use red wine vinegar in the basic recipe and add 1 cup of red wine, one small onion, peeled and finely chopped, chopped fresh thyme and a bay leaf. For white wine marinade, use white wine vinegar in the basic marinade and add a small sprig of rosemary and a sprig of thyme, finely chopped.
For some hotter stuff, chili marinade uses lemon juice instead of vinegar in the basic marinade, plus 3 tbsp tomato ketchup, a level tsp of paprika, a coffee spoon of powdered cumin, a pinch or two of dried oregano and sprinkles of chili pepper to the degree of hotness you require.
Last year I wrote about minced meat kebabs called “Kofta” and you may find the recipes etc.,by going to this page http://eastward-ho.com/?p=1016